Questions tagged [meteorology]

The study of how the earth's atmosphere works, including weather forecasting. Use this tag for questions about the earth's weather. When asking questions specifically about the atmosphere, also include the [atmosphere] tag.

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16
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2answers
3k views

Why do clouds sometimes form a ring around the Sun?

Someone shared a video with me in which clouds were forming a ring around the Sun. I took this screen shot of that video: What is the reason behind this?
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Why does the so called “tornado alley” exist?

75% of the world's tornadoes occur in the USA, and within the USA these tornadoes are most likely to occur in particular regions of the country, such as the well known "tornado alley". The diagram ...
16
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1answer
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How will cloud feedback effects on the climate change as the result of global warming?

So global warming will increase the tropospheric temperatures, which, in turn, would make the clouds higher than they otherwise would be. And higher clouds (especially cirrus clouds) tend to trap in ...
16
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1answer
374 views

What is the methodology to analyze future climatic extremes using the results of climate models?

What is the accepted methodology to predict future climatic extremes using the results of climate models? I have recently read a report about climatic extremes considering climate change (MICE, 2002)....
16
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1answer
5k views

What do quasi-geostrophic and ageostrophic mean?

I know that geostrophic flow means straight wind flow that is balanced by the pressure gradient and Coriolis forces. But what do quasi-geostrophic and ageostrophic mean specifically?
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1answer
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How do urban areas affect rain?

Urban areas these days can be quite large, and they can have strong effects on the environment: the urban heat island effect being the most obvious, but there may be other, more subtle effects. The ...
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3answers
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Does rain (temporarily) deplete the surrounding atmosphere of carbon dioxide?

CO2 in the air dissolves into rain water, making them slightly acidic. Is that enough to deplete the surrounding air out of CO2? If yes, how fast does this occur? Is it only with the first drops of ...
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8answers
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Is it possible to create an enclosed manmade weather system?

There are plenty of experiments, usually geared toward kids, that involve "making a cloud in a bottle" or something similar. These exercises are neat for what they are, but pale in comparison to the ...
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4answers
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What would be the effect of bringing seawater pipes to the Sahara desert?

This is a childhood dream. What would happen if pipes were installed (similar in principle to the Great Man-Made River, but for seawater) to continuously pump seawater into the Sahara desert. Let'...
15
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2answers
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Why are deserts mostly located on the western side of continents?

I read somewhere in a book that mostly desert found in the western part of a continent. So my question is that why is it so? I searched on the internet but I didn't get a reasonable answer for that.
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Why are clouds darker before it rains?

What causes the darker color of the clouds (nimbus) when it is about to rain? Non-precipitating clouds (e.g., cumulus, stratus) tend to be white, but rain clouds become gray and almost black before it ...
15
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3answers
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How far away can you see a thunderstorm?

At 9:30 PM on July 13, 2015, I was looking due south from Oshkosh, WI. I saw very clearly a large storm with 1-2 lightning strikes per second. I could see cloud-to-cloud lightning traces, as well as ...
15
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1answer
541 views

What constitutes a blizzard in meterological terms?

Blizzards are most commonly associated with a large amount of snowfall and low visibility. However, snow squalls can induce low visibility whereas a 12" snowfall doesn't have to induce low visibility. ...
15
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1answer
92k views

Does a green or yellow sky actually indicate a tornado?

It seems to be a fairly widely held belief that if the sky is green or yellow, a tornado may be developing/approaching. But is there any truth to it? Could the color of the sky actually be associated ...
15
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1answer
341 views

What is the predictability of El Niño/La Niña?

What is the maximum period of time into the future that an El Niño event can be forecasted with reasonable accuracy and what are the limitations in predicting the time limit?
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2answers
789 views

What factors affect the size of rain shadows?

Rain shadows are dry areas on the lee side of mountains. Due to humid air condensing and precipitating as they are lifted up and over the mountains, they lose moisture by the time they reach the lee ...
15
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1answer
270 views

What is the status of meteorological data exchange standards?

How do the web services exchange meteorological data? One method is transferring NetCDF and GRIB data and hooking them up to your software. I read here about the possibility of using WFS and WCS. ...
15
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1answer
728 views

What type of cloud formation are these dark low-hanging clouds?

I was thinking it could have been a non-rotating wall cloud, but I'm not sure. YouTube video Picture taken on September 9 2014... between 5-7 pm in North Georgia, about 40 miles north of Atlanta.
15
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1answer
348 views

Can climate models reliably predict meteorological extremes?

This question is related to and extension of my previous question which was about the methodology used to predict future climatic extremes: What is the methodology to analyze future climatic extremes ...
14
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1answer
4k views

What is the meaning of -999 degrees Celsius?

I was checking the weather forecast just now, and it is showing that it "feels like -999 °C". I never heard or saw -999 °C before. I searched other weather channels, and they were showing that it ...
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2answers
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Why are weather service atmospheric pressures systematically different from those I measure in Johannesburg?

I live in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg in South Africa. I have noticed while working with synoptic weather charts in geography class that the isobars indicate that Johannesburg should have ...
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2answers
4k views

Why One Side of Mountain Range is Lush

I'm new to this site and certainly not someone with any real background in atmospheric science, so please forgive me if this question is a little stupid. I recall learning in High School about ...
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2answers
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July/August hottest months (northern hemisphere): because of continued warming or other effects?

In the northern hemisphere, July and August are the hottest months statistically1, but the days start shortening after June 21st. Is this just because the Northern Hemisphere keeps heating up after ...
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3answers
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If it rains harder, does it mean the rain's duration will be shorter?

If it rains real hard, is there a chance the rain's duration will be shorter? I think the if the rain in the clouds disperses with such force the rain will be over faster than if it was just a light ...
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3answers
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What is El Niño Modoki?

What are the characteristics that distinguishes a El Niño Modoki from a "normal" El Niño? What are the effects of El Niño Modoki on atmospheric and oceanic processes? How does it affect weather ...
14
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2answers
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Why is the Atlantic Hurricane Season defined as being between June 1 and November 30?

Historically, the Atlantic Hurricane Season has shifted, as close as June 15 to October 31, but since 1965, it has been between June 1 and November 30(1). Why is the Atlantic Hurricane Season defined ...
14
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2answers
851 views

How can odor travel be tracked

Odd question, but what data would be needed to to calculate how far winds will carry a strong odor (such as the smells of a restaurant, pizza parlor or burning wood/building? There is wind direction ...
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1answer
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How can I estimate a 2 m temperature from / in an atmospheric model?

Numerical models of the atmosphere usually have their first atmospheric grid level well above 2 m, but the temperature at 2 m above ground level is something one often wants to calculate with such a ...
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2answers
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Why don't cold fronts and other steep-gradient weather effects just dissipate?

Why don't cold fronts and other steep-gradient weather effects just dissipate? Why do they last so long? Why doesn't the heat dissipate toward the cooler region?
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1answer
612 views

How long does it take for the atmosphere to mix?

If I release a say, one litre of gas, at a particular point on the planet, how soon, on average, would it take to be distributed evenly (mixed) across the entire earth's atmosphere?
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1answer
354 views

What are the impacts of sublimation on an annual mountain snowpack?

Massive amounts of freshwater rests atop the world's mountains in the form of ice, snow, permafrost, and glaciers. Many areas of the world rely upon the melting of snow and ice to recharge their ...
14
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1answer
851 views

How does a 'fire tornado' form?

A 'Fire tornado' or 'Firenado' or 'Fire whirl' are a fearful feature of forest fires world wide. Having seen one up close, I can attest that they are both awesome and utterly terrifying, but I am ...
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1answer
245 views

How do climatologists define the “start” of a rainy season in a unimodal monsoonal climate?

For a number of gridcells, all between the 500mm and 800mm rainfall isohyets in sub-Saharan Africa, I've got dekadal rainfall (from FEWS). They are pretty spread out over the continent and there are ...
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1answer
149 views

Have there been any attempts to measure profiles through deep convective systems using dropsondes?

In-situ measurements in deep convective systems, tropical cyclones, etc., are difficult to perform. Few if any people would like to fly a small aircraft close to its core, and radiosondes or larger ...
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3answers
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How is it possible to use up the water in a region?

The Dead Sea, rivers in California and the Aral Sea are said to be shrinking due to water usage, e.g. for agriculture. Yet the water must go somewhere. After the fields are irrigated, the water ...
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2answers
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What is the difference between a high-resolution model and a regular model run?

So we have high-resolution models like the HRRR (High Resolution Rapid Refresh). But what exactly is the difference between a high-resolution model and a regular model? I realize that the higher ...
13
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4answers
958 views

How to tell if a single day of weather is an anomaly or due to climate change?

I am interested in understanding how to tell if a single day of 'abnormal' weather is due to climate change or not. From my understanding, you would compare this day's weather to historical weather. ...
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5answers
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How to reduce the atmospheric temperature artificially?

Is there any gas/substance which absorbs/reduces atmospheric temperature? Ozone filters UV rays from the sun light and allows in infrared rays. In my knowledge these infrared rays are the cause of ...
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2answers
24k views

Transfer precipitation forecast in mm to expected snowfall in cm

What conversion functions exist to transfer precipitation forecast in mm to expected snowfall in cm? Simple rules of thumbs as well as more advanced methods would be of interest.
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3answers
2k views

What causes these banded clouds?

A set of banded clouds can be seen in MODIS imagery during several days in January and February over the Gulf of Maine. They tend to occur with very cold winds from the NW following storms. There are ...
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1answer
3k views

Are cloudy nights warmer than nights without clouds?

I have noticed this winter that nights without clouds (especially when the 12h before the night where not cloudy) were way colder than the cloudy ones. It makes sense to me because the clouds can ...
13
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1answer
985 views

Cloud-to-ground lightning in Florida?

I was looking into the odds of getting hit by lightning and ran across this map: My first thought for this was due to a higher number of thunderstorms in Florida. However, the map for that doesn't ...
13
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1answer
409 views

Why (actually) is the night sky so bright in the city? How far up is that happening?

The recent news reported by the New York Times, the BBC and the NPR web sites (for example) as well as in the Iceland Review and Iceland Magazine sites, about the shutting-off of Reykjavik's ...
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1answer
1k views

What is the formula used for atmospheric visibility?

I am working on NCEP GFS data to plot various maps. One such plot I would like to have is visibility. I have seen some of the sites showing visibility charts and the source of the data was shown as ...
13
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2answers
6k views

What is the lowest latitude at which snow has been recorded at sea level?

We have had some stations report snow that have not reported snow in the past 55 years at sea level. I have read that Tampico, Mexico at 22°N is one of the stations that has recorded snow in the ...
13
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1answer
756 views

Dry atmospheric temperature profile (dry adiabatic vs. isothermal)

I'm trying to understand why there are differing predictions of the atmospheric temperature profile. It is well established that the dry adiabatic lapse rate (DALR) is: $$ \frac{\mathrm{d}T}{\mathrm{...
13
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1answer
441 views

Will dust storms be more frequent in the future?

I noticed that in some science fiction movies set in the future on Earth, like Wall-E and Interstellar, dust storms are very prominent. Are there any scientific hypotheses suggesting that dust storms ...